TRAMES 1, 5, 2001


Valter Lang

University of Tartu

Abstract. This article was prompted by the concern that the main problems in the ethnic interpretations of our past originate from the misuse of terms like "archaeological culture", "anthropological type" and "proto-language" composed by the researchers for the systematisation of the corresponding evidence. General uselessness of ethnic reconstructions based on the old culture historical approach to archaeological, anthropological and linguistic evidence that misuse those terms is demonstrated. It is argued that we are not able to solve ethnic questions of the Stone Age (resp. prehistoric times in general) using the old methodology and, therefore, one has to seek for new possibilities of interpretation. Some ideas concerning the comparisons between archaeological cultures and the so-called semiosphere - a continuum filled with semiotic formations of different types and organisation levels - are presented.

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